Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Akala ft Selah – A Message

How many musicians are willing and able to talk about the corrosive effect of male supremacy on the family?! Big ups to Akala and Selah on this one.

Wonderful video as ever from Global Faction. Love the cameo from the excellent Lez Henry also.

Follow @AkalaMusic
Follow @SuperstarSelah
Follow @GlobalFaction
Check out Lez Henry’s site, Nu Beyond

Akala raises the bar yet again

Akala’s new Fire In The Both shows once again that Akala brings the full package of lyrical skill, content, flows, relevance and personality. Forget all these wannabe gangsters and autotune bubblegum rappers! Akala has set the standard. Who’s rising to the challenge?

Akala’s mixtape ‘Knowledge Is Power vol 1’ will be released on 28 May. Preorder it here.

“Made You Die” – Trayvon Martin tribute from Dead Prez, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and MikeFlo

Militant Trayvon Martin tribute over the classic Nas ‘Made You Look’ beat (produced by Salaam Remi). Great video by Bmike.

Heartening to see top-level established artists coming together to make a statement, raise awareness, educate and organise.

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‘Soy Rebelde’ – great track and video from Rebel Diaz

Single taken from the forthcoming album, Radical Dilemma.

The song samples a late 60s Spanish pop ballad, “Soy Rebelde, porque el mundo me hecho asi..” (I’m a Rebel, because the world has made me this way…”).

Produced by G1 of Rebel Diaz. Shot and edited by Pocho1.

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Tribute to the legendary Lloyd Brevett

A sad day for ska as one of its originators, Lloyd Brevett, passes away at the age of 80. The following tribute is from Billboard.

Lloyd Brevett the upright bass player and founding member of the seminal Jamaican ska group The Skatalites passed away this morning at Andrews Memorial Hospital in St. Andrew, Jamaica where he was being treated following a stroke and a series of seizures. Brevett was 80 years old.

The Skatalites were the preeminent collective in popularizing ska, an early 60s creation melding R&B, jazz, calypso and Cuban musical influences, and characterized by its distinctive emphasis on the after beat, as opposed to the down beat of R&B.

Together for just 18 months between 1963-1965 The Skatalites recorded many timeless instrumentals including “Eastern Standard Time” and “Guns of Navarone” for a variety of producers, most notably Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd.

Backing virtually every singer of note during that era, including teen sensations The Wailers on their 1964 hit “Simmer Down,” The Skatalites’ pioneering efforts at the dawn of the island’s recording industry laid the groundwork for the development of rocksteady and reggae later in the decade and the subsequent international embrace of Jamaica’s various indigenous genres.

Considered the grandfather of Jamaican bass players Brevett was taught by his father David who built and played his own basses. A recipient of several awards throughout his long, highly influential career, Brevett was bestowed Jamaica’s fifth highest honor, the Order of Distinction, in October 2001 and the Silver Musgrave Medal for his contribution to music in October 2010.

According to a recent report in the Jamaica Observer newspaper, close family friend Maxine Stowe (former A&R at Columbia Records and Clement Dodd’s niece) said Brevett’s health had rapidly deteriorated following the fatal shooting of his son Okeene Brevett on February 26, near the family’s home in Seaview Gardens area of St. Andrew. Okeene was returning home after accepting an award on his father’s behalf from JaRIA (Jamaica Recording Industry Association) for his contributions to the development of Jamaica’s music industry.

Hasan Salaam – Miss America

Check the new video for this firing track from Hasan Salaam’s excellent ‘Music Is My Weapon’ album.

‘Miss America’ explores the hypocrisy of the United States, which brands itself as the centre of the free world, whilst busily creating war, famine and discord throughout the world.

The content is important, the lyricism is deep, and Hasan Salaam’s voice rides perfectly over the intense beat. My only issue with the song is that a male rapper using the metaphor of the ‘slut’ is problematic, given the context of the patriarchal society we live in, where men disapprove of female ‘sluttishness’ whist applauding male promiscuity. The sociology of this issue runs deep, and has racial and class aspects to it as well as gender ones (society holds up an image of the virtuous, passive, pure, affluent white woman, which is contrasted to the immoral, nympho, poor black woman). Anyway, check bell hooks’ book “Ain’t I A Woman” for further ideas on that subject! In the meantime, check the video and support the album.

UPDATE: Hasan Salaam reached out on Twitter to clarify the meaning of the metaphor he used: “I don’t think your critique was on point due the fact it wasn’t held up against male promiscuity or women of color. The name Miss America comes from the ‘beauty pageant’ here in the states & is attacking the falsehood of Americas purity.”

The concept behind Hasan Salaam’s EP “Music Is My Weapon” is the belief that music can be used as a powerful tool in the pursuit of freedom, justice, and equality. With the release of the project, Hasan is aiming to prove that music can change people’s lives, literally. All profits from the sale of the EP will be used to fund a school, clean water well, and medical clinic in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. The school has already been completed, and construction of the well is underway. In November 2010, Hasan became the first U.S hip hop artist to ever perform in Bissau. On the same trip he worked with the young artists, taught creative writing to the youth, and headlined a concert to promote freedom of speech. The “Music Is My Weapon” project is the next step, in an effort to provide change to a country that remains one of the poorest and least politically stable in the world.

Get Music Is My Weapon on iTunes. Follow Hasan Salaam on Twitter.

RodStarz and Luss rep for the political prisoners – FREE ‘EM ALL

Check out this dope remix of J Cole’s “Can’t Get Enough”. RodStarz (one half of Rebel Diaz) and Luss represent for Mutulu Shakur, Sundiata Acoli, Oscar López, Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners.

Also check Rebel Diaz’s track Never A Prisoner – Free Mumia

Follow Rebel Diaz on Twitter Follow Luss on Twitter

Logic’s verbal stick-up of the wannabe gangstas

Nice to finally see Logic on SBTV, with this Warm-up Session where he addresses himself to all the young rappers trying to build a career by fronting as gangsters.

“If every gangsta rapper really was a gangsta, all you’re doing is making it easier for the feds to catch ya”.

There’s a lot to be said on this topic, so it’s positive that Logic is helping to open up the discussion and is holding rappers responsible for their actions. It’s also important to remember that young rappers are playing in to an image that is perfectly acceptable to the music industry – and the racist power structure in general. This image is glamourised, glorified, distorted and then sold to us so forcefully that many of us start to actually accept and expect it (and this is a process controlled overwhelmingly by rich white men, not poor black boys). MK Asante’s excellent book It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop explores these issues in detail.

We have to fight the music industry by continuing to develop an alternative, independent, positive, resistant, radical culture that meets the needs of the communities that make it, rather than serving the interests of corporate profit and the political/economic/social status quo.

Follow Logic on Twitter

Marcel Cartier ft G1 (Rebel Diaz) – Start The Revolution

Here’s the final free download from the album ‘History Will Absolve Us’ – a collaboration project between Marcel Cartier and myself.

The album will be dropping in June and will contain 8 new tracks, on top of the 6 tracks that we’ve dropped on Soundcloud and Youtube over the last few months.

‘Start the Revolution’ features the considerable turntable skills of Terry Hooligan. No prizes for spotting the scratch sample 🙂

Militant raps, funky golden-era sound, heavy cuts… do you want more?

Marcel Cartier on Twitter
Agent of Change on Twitter
Rebel Diaz on Twitter
Terry Hooligan on Twitter

Spread the word and support radical culture!

Mic Righteous bringing intensity, passion, conscience

If you haven’t seen Mic Righteous’s new Fire In The Booth yet… get on it! Intensity, passion, conscience, honesty, lyricism, verbal dexterity. Not that I 100% agree with what he says about the riots, but it’s an important and valid contribution to a debate that the youth has been largely excluded from. And it’s great to see rappers talking seriously about issues that the music industry doesn’t want them to talk about.

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